This session was generally very good. The lower latitudes enjoyed strong reports while conditions were good to fair at higher latitudes. John, WA3ETD / WG2XKA, indicates “OK” domestic signals while reports were plentiful. Doug, K4LY / WH2XZO, also experienced very strong signal levels from the lower latitudes where WH2XXP and WH2XGP often yield a 2:1 report ratio for a session. Through this session, however, WH2XXP was decoded 112 times while WH2XGP only 7 times. Further to the south and closer to Doug’s QTH, W8AC reported +17 db S/N, which is just one db down from Doug’s all-time high report of +18 db S/N from Bill, N3CXV / WH2XRR during the previous session. Doug indicates that Bill’s highest report for his signal was +16 db S/N though this session. Ken, SWL/K9, in Indiana reports that the WH2WYW hybrid call sign that is seen during periods of very strong signals appears to be a hybrid of WG2XJM and WG2XXM. The bands have been strong enough recently for these hybrid reports to be generated and its often a sign of good propagation.
The geomagnetic field appears to have recovered to some degree through this session. An long duration eruption, however, occurred at 0011z which has resulted in a spike in proton levels as reported by Solarham. The Space Weather Prediction Center indicates that the Bz component was mostly stable and near 0 nT through the session and solar winds were moderate in the mid-450 km/s range.
Band activity was high through this session, with WSPR dominating the activity. 85 MF WSPR stations were reported during the evening on the WSPRnet activity page. There were no new receive stations identified through this session in North America. Also QRV was Joseph, NU6O / WI2XBQ, who operated PSK-31 for a few hours during his evening to test his transmitter. At this time I have no reception reports of his signal but will update if they should become available.
Daytime WSPR activity was once again very strong with recorded activity from WG2XKA in Vermont, WG2XXM in Oklahoma, and me, WG2XIQ in Texas. Screen captures and statistics for stations in the west and northwest were missed due to scheduling issues on my part.
Regional and continental WSPR breakdowns follow:
There were no trans-Atlantic reports through this session.
Ed, VP9GE, was present during this session and hearing very well based on reports:
The trans-African path was very active through this session with five European stations being reported on Reunion Island by Michel, FR5ZX. I have lost track of how many unique stations in Europe have been reported by Michel. I believe the last count was 11-unique stations. If anyone recalls exact numbers, please send me a message. This level of activity has not been seen in quite some time.
Good conditions were reported in the Caribbean by Roger, ZF1RC, and Eden, ZF1EJ. Eden once again reported Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR. Roger operated two receivers and two different antennae through this session in order to evaluate his system and software. ZF1RC utilized a Yaesu FTdx5000 and 160-meter Inverted-V with WSJTx as the decoder. ZF1RC/2 utilized the Yaesu FT-847 and InLogis loop with WSPRx as the decoder. This is the same antenna that is used by Eden. Further testing will be performed by switching antennas and possibly software in future sessions.
In Alaska, Laurence, KL7L / WE2XPQ, returned to air at 0610z after making repairs to his station after high winds and a power outage. Laurence also reports that his lower noise level during the power outage contributed to less than 1-db of improvement on his reception and that the fickle path from both WG2XXM and WG2XIQ and KL7 was probably ionospheric in nature and not related to improved noise conditions. Laurence also operated KL7L in receive-only mode through this session.
In the Pacific, the path to JA and VK remains open for Merv, K9FD/KH6 / WH2XCR. The two-way path remains open between KH6 and VK3ELV, which is surprising as the noise levels continue to increase in Australia. JA1NQI-1 and VK2XGJ continue to hear very well. John, VK2XGJ, sent a very early screen capture of his console showing Merv’s signal very early in the waterfall.
Jim, W5EST, posted the following comments and analysis of the trans-Pacfic path this morning in the ON4KST chat/logger:
I think the question about the Northern Hemisphere being the greatest impedance to the path between Larry, W7IUV / WH2XGP, and VK is quite interesting as we have historically seen the primary roadblock as the elevated seasonal noise. I suppose a way to test this is to have active coastal stations in southern California where the lower latitudes will see less impact from geomagnetic activity.
Phil, VK3ELV, had the previously mentioned two-way reports with WH2XCR in addition to a report from JA1NQI-1:
Plans are underway for the “First Annual Midwinter 630-meter Activity Night” to tentatively be held the weekend of February 5th because of minimal conincidence with major contests. At the moment, there is no gimmick to which this event is attached. Its simply a show case of a variety of modes and operations from station active already on the band, those interested in trying to band, or those interested in testing their receive setups. Basically its an excuse to get on the air and get media publicity for the band while we do it. Just plan on getting on the air and being an active operator in some mode that interests you. More details as they become available.
Additions, corrections, clarifications, etc? Send me a message on the Contact page!